First off, I did end up getting a place to stay in Bend with Eli’s Cousin AND I got a ride to the race from Jen Aekroyd (sp?). So my 50 mile commute didn’t have to happen.
The race was hot and flat with some rollers and one climb at about mile 30 of the 70 mile race. We started out pretty fast, averaging 31mph for the first hour; I just sat in the pack. Although just ‘sitting in’ in a big race like this requires constant forward motion (not that a race wouldn’t). But for these races you have to either be passing people, or you’re going backwards in the peloton, since the outsides of the pack are always moving forward. So sitting in isn’t as easy as you’d think. Although I did think today was fairly easy. The hill wasn’t bad at all and I felt comfortable on the one other hardish section–a long false flat on chip seal where the entire peloton was single file.
I guess I should say that it was unfortunate that the race was easy for me, because it could have been hard if I had been in the break. The giant break that got over 4 minutes on the rest of us. 12 guys got up the road during one of the sprint points, then a while later 10 guys bridged to them. I wasn’t close enough to the front to even see most of this happen, since I was conserving for the first stage, which was supposed to be a pack sprint finish day. That wasn’t the plan that a bunch of teams had, though. From now on, I should go around to each team and ask what their plan is for each stage so I’m not at a disadvantage. Although my long term goal is to be so fast that I can just ride away from them all. It will make things much simpler.
I finished 30th or so in the field sprint today, and 54th out of 191 starters. I should have plenty of energy for tomorrow.